2017 - Volume #41, Issue #4, Page #10[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Growing Tea In Michigan
“Tea loves good drainage and Leelanau County has some of the most impressive sand dunes in the world,” says Angela Macke, owner of the business and 70-acre farm where she grows tea. “We use finely ground red pine bark mixed with sand and compost to successfully germinate many tea seedlings each year and to nourish our established plants.”
Her “Magical Biodynamic” compost is one of the agricultural practices she uses to make her farm Certified Demeter Biodynamic - the only tea farm with that certification in North America. The former critical care nurse explains it is a step beyond organic certification.
“A Demeter Biodynamic farm organism always gives back more to the earth than it takes - the inputs are from the farm. It is considered the very highest standard for commercially grown food in the world,” Macke says. The Lunar calendar, homeopathic remedies for compost, farm-made foliar sprays, and other practices are used for the certification.
“Tea is the most labor-intensive crop known to mankind,” she says, and faithful customers appreciate that and the fact that Light of Day Organics tea is not being harvested by underpaid foreign workers. Customers are willing to pay the price to buy a domestic certified product, with a tin of tea ranging between $19 to $40 (40 to 100 servings depending on ounces and ingredients).
Light of Day also teaches extensively about Matcha green tea, an imported product since its beginnings back in 2004. Matcha is a shade-grown green tea product that is highly nutritious, loaded with anti-oxidants and has a long history of use by monks and the Samurai. The Michigan company offers the product in loose powdered form and more recently added pharmaceutical grade, U.S.-made vegan capsules in straight form or combined with turmeric for even more anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory action.
“We have a strong local following in our retail store each weekend as customers come back for that personalized interaction that is becoming harder to find these days. We’re open six days a week in the summer,” Macke says.
The business’s website has videos and information about the farm and tea.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Light of Day Organics, 3502 E. Traverse Hwy., Traverse City, Mich. 49684 (www.lightofdayorganics.com; teafairy@LightofDayOrganics.com).
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